Monday, April 26, 2010

DIY: Aluminum Can Stars

Came across this great little DIY project that would make for super festive decorations - think 4th of July, Christmas, New Year's. These aluminum can stars are cut out with sturdy scissors, folded and creased and then strung on fishing line. If taken care of properly, the garland of stars could last for years, and it would probably make for a good project for kids too (older kids probably). Read on for the basic tutorial.

Ansie of Sol y Sombra came up with tutorial to use up aluminum cans. She lives in Dubai, so her cans have both English and Arabic on them, which makes for some interesting markings on the stars. With this tutorial you get 2 stars per can, maybe more if you came up with an interlocking or smaller pattern to start with. Also, you can use the inside silver side or the colored exterior, which could make the garland good for two holidays.

What You Need
  • Empty soft drink cans
  • Utility/kitchen scissors
  • Star template (Ansie has one that you can download and print out)
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Sharp object. Ansie used an awl, but a thick needle or nail will also work
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Fishing line and other decorative things like beads for string them up
Step by Step

1. Cut off the top and bottom of the can with the scissors and clean the inside of the can to make sure it isn't sticky anymore.

2. Lay the can flat and trace the pattern on the can with the marker.

3. Cut out the stars from the can (recycle the rest of the can).

4. Turn star logo facing up and use a ruler and your sharp object to score 3 lines in between the internal corners. Make sure to not cut through the metal.

5. Turn star over (silver side up), then use the ruler and sharp object to score 3 lines in between the external points.

6. Hold opposite points in your fingers and fold along the creased lines down, then in the hollows, bend up. You can also use the sharp tool to further crease along the lines.

7. Use your flat nose pliers to bend the points up and flat. Then use your sharp object to poke a hole in each point. Or maybe only opposite points if you're stringing like a garland.

8. Use fishing line and any other decorative beed to string them up. Ansie strung her stars up into a large hanging with a pattern.

[via Sol Y Sombra]